I have been wed for four months now, first time away from my parents, siblings and home and yet at home. Two months back I moved to the city of Sacramento in California. During my first initial adjustment weeks, I was in my observatory phase. "We have bigger malls and taller buildings back in Delhi. This place doesn’t inhabit many people either. It looks so vacant." I mumbled to GK (my husband, as I fondly call him) comparing the place with my previous den. Traveling to new places and relocating to a new place both have different responses on our mind. I was struggling with similar dilemma. Rather than enjoying this new place, for the first time I was judging it. During first three weeks America confused me a lot. I found everything got reversed here. Entering inside the lift at airport was my first awakening, there was no ground or zero floor in it. Here they call it first floor. The time zones, the driving rules and the simplest things like units of measurement everything upturned. Weights in pounds, distance in miles, volume in ounces/gallons, temperature in Fahrenheit seemed like learning a whole new language. Automobile fuel (petrol) is called gas here even when it is in the liquid state. Live wire also changed its color from red to black (as GK told me).
While going out, I always ended up opening the left door of our car to be on the passenger side. All the traffic rules are opposite to what I have been following back at home. Driving on the right side with driver’s seat on left, free turns on right and so many different signs drawn on the roads each meaning something different. For one month GK patiently directed me to the passenger’s seat. One day I opened the car’s door to sit, he already on the driver’s seat said, let us both share this seat today and drive together. At home whenever my attention shifted to switches, with an intent to switch off the lights I ended up switching them on. I thought I have adjusted to everything around, when one day I was absent-minded, trying to plug my charger into the socket and unable to insert the pins, I found another inversion:
|A is for America on April 1|